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By VeloNews Interactive
Bicycles and skateboards are barred from most sidewalks, and mopeds are no-no’s on bike/pedestrian paths, but we could soon see Segway Human Transporters on both.
On Thursday (April 11), the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is scheduled to vote on a measure that would permit “electric personal assistive mobility devices” to use sidewalks and paths built or maintained with federal funds “when state and local regulations permit,” according to the Bikes Belong Coalition, a group that lobbies for bicycle-friendly policies in Washington, D.C. The group says Segway has spent $741,000 lobbying for sidewalk access at the state level; this apparently is the company’s first foray into federal territory.
The 69-pound, battery-powered Segway Human Transporter is billed as capable of 10-12.5 mph, about three times the speed of the average pedestrian. And S2024’s sponsor, Sen. Bob Smith, R-New Hampshire, moves pretty fast, too, because he’s bypassed the normal hearing process to bring his measure to a vote, according to Bikes Belong.
S2024 says the so-called electric personal assistive mobility device “employs advances in technology and energy efficiency to fully and safely integrate the user with pedestrian transportation (and) facilitates better use of public ways.”
But if you think powered vehicles belong in the streets, like SUVs, Freightliners and garbage trucks – and come to think of it, bicycles – give the Environment and Public Works Committee a jingle now and say so.
Members include:Chairman: James Jeffords (chairman): 202-224-5141Democrats:
Max Baucus, MT: 202-224-2651
Harry Reid, NV: 202-224-3542
Bob Graham, FL: 202-224-3041
Joseph Lieberman, CT: 202-224-4041
Barbara Boxer, CA: 202-224-3553
Ron Wyden, OR: 202-224-5244
Thomas Carper, DE: 202-224-2441
Hillary Clinton, NY: 202-224-4451
John Corzine, NJ: 202-224-4744Republicans:
Robert Smith, NH: 202-224-2841
John Warner, VA: 202-224-2023
James Inhofe, OK: 202-224-4721
Christopher Bond, MO: 202-224-5721
George Voinovich, OH: 202-224-3353
Michael Crapo, ID: 202-224-2752
Lincoln Chafee, RI: 202-224-2921
Arlen Specter, PA: 202-224-4254
Ben Nighthorse Campbell, CO: 202-224-5842